Home confinement is associated with a decrease in respiratory decompensations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Research from Lleida has confirmed the improvement in the respiratory health of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) during home confinement in March, April and May 2020. Of the 310 people contacted in this study, 62% had fewer exacerbations, especially moderate and severe, than in the same period of the previous year. The study was recently published in the journal Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

The research was carried out by the Translational research in respiratory medicine group of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Lleida (IRBLleida) and the University of Lleida (UdL), which is made up of healthcare professionals from the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital (HUAV) and the University Hospital of Santa Maria (HUSM) and research staff from the Centre for Biomedical Research Network on Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES). This group analysed the effects of home closure by Covid-19 on the lifestyle of people with chronic diseases, specifically on COPD (a very common disease that affects approximately 9% of the adult population) or chronic bronchitis.

“The fact that chronic respiratory patients stayed at home probably meant that they were less exposed to other environmental and social factors, such as exposure to pollution or conventional seasonal pathogens. There was probably also an increase in self-care measures, which led to fewer exacerbations,” explained Jessica Gonzalez, head of the study. The researcher also added that this situation has made it possible to detect that, in addition to medication, there are other external elements that may favour the situation of these patients. This reduction in patients’ respiratory decompensation has also led to a reduction in health costs directly related to respiratory disease.

This research has been possible thanks to the support of a Miguel Servet grant (CP19/00108) from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) “Investing in your future”.


Jessica González, Anna Moncusí-Moix, Ivan D. Benitez, Sally Santisteve, Aida Monge, Maria Angeles Fontiveros, Paola Carmona, Gerard Torres, Ferran Barbé, Jordi de Batlle, Clinical consequences of COVID-19 lockdown in patients with COPD: results of a pre-post study in Spain, Chest, 2021, ISSN 0012-3692, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2020.12.057.

IRBLleida belongs to the Institution of Research Centres of Catalonia (iCERCA), which is organised according to a model of good governance and operation that ensures the efficiency, management flexibility, recruitment and promotion of talent, strategic planning and executive capacity of research centres in Catalonia.

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